FAQs

Please contact us directly for any additional questions.

Social Innovation Projects (SIP) is an on-campus internship program in which a small team of students are paired with a partner organization such as the Perpetual Education Fund, Google Community Leaders, or Ashoka.

Teams work with partner organizations to innovate solutions for the world’s most pressing social problems such as poverty, healthcare, education, and economic development. SIP gives students from all majors a deeper understanding of how to Do Good Better.

Social innovation is the ecosystem whereby new and innovative solutions to our global society’s greatest problems are solved. This is an umbrella term used to describe the work that nonprofit organizations, socially driven for-profit companies, philanthropists and others do to resolve world issues.

Projects are different for each partner and each semester. In the past students have collected data and aggregated it into research reports or infographics, organized recruiting events, created multimedia presentations, and analyzed financial information. To see examples and summaries of past student work, click here.

The Ballard Center works with marquee organizations to create synergistic relationships where both students and organizations fulfill their shared passion for social innovation. We seek to work with partners whose organizations have been well vetted. We look to groups like Ashoka, Skoll Foundation, Schwab Foundation, Mulago Foundation, Peery Foundation, and others to help us identify potential partners. We also take advantage of our board members and Social Venture Academy to vet organizations when appropriate. Partner organizations take many different approaches to social innovation, including nonprofits, socially innovative enterprises, companies with compelling corporate social responsibility programs, impact investors, microcredit organizations, and more.

Email us or come talk to us at the Ballard Center in 360 TNRB. If you know of a socially innovative organization that fits our criteria, please come talk to us so we can explore possible collaborations. Click here for more details on how we work with partners.

Yes! Students from more than thirty different majors have participated in SIP. Each partner and project requires different skill sets. We find the most successful teams are ones that have interdisciplinary representation. The learning experience and final deliverables are always greatly enhanced when there are multiple perspectives.

Of course! After you have applied and are accepted into SIP, you will enroll in BUS M 491R—Social Innovation Projects for 3 credits. Some major and minor programs will accept SIP as credit, depending on the project. We are also frequently able to get this course approved for credit in departments across campus. Email us to find out if your major or minor is included.

Interns will commit to six to nine hours each week and be available Tuesday and Thursday from 4:00–5:15 p.m. The following count toward weekly hours: class time, weekly meetings with partner contacts, team meetings, individual work, and some approved Ballard Center events. Projects and classes start after the add/drop deadline each semester and logged hours do play a role in student grades.

The on-campus internships are for credit only. If you would like a paid internship, come to the Ballard Center in 360 TNRB, so we can help you identify opportunities.